If you went looking to find an interesting and historic part of the country to do a bit of sightseeing and learn a little more about your favorite hobby of woodworking, I think that you would have enjoyed our show venue this last weekend, March 2-4 in Fredericksburg, VA. Located about half way between Washington, DC and Richmond, this area played many key roles in the battles of the Civil War. As I drove the area last Thursday, the names of the small towns and burgs conjured up recollections of stories I read about the internal struggles our nation underwent so long ago. The normal one hour drive turned into almost five as I stopped numerous times along the way to get out and walk the sites. As I got to the Quantico area, I took a tour of the National Museum of the Marine Corps. With full sized combat vignettes inside, this museum explained the full breadth of this branch of the military. Add all this to the fact that it was 72 degrees and sunny that day and you can see why I enjoy this part of travel.
As has been the case since January, the Woodworking Shows attracted a very good and enthusiastic crowd of attendees throughout the three days. Most vendors stated that sales were slightly less than they had hoped for but all still had a good weekend. It wasn’t for lack of offerings, however. Heavy metal buyers found a complete display of stationary tools in the General booth and many other vendors had great pricing on nearly every range of portable tools.
What I found impressive, and I’m sure that attendees did too, was the number of free, truly educational opportunities there were. Headliners like Tommy Mac saw full seats at each presentation. Almost every facet of woodworking was covered by the likes of Bob Settich, Paul Moore, Bradley McCallister and Paul Sellers in addition to the presentations that we “regulars” give each weekend. In particular, the bowl finishing techniques that Bradley taught were impressive.
The Annapolis Woodworks school displayed some of the projects and techniques that are taught at the school.
The Show Off Showcase first place project this last weekend was Terry Clore’s “Dusensonberry” car on a cedar box. Local woodworker, Mark Hicks, took second with this very well done “The Challenge” game table. Third place went to the “Chess Table” by Tim Jackson. I was encouraged to see that the entries were nicely varied and I hope to see many more when the show returns next year. The winners enjoyed their choice of tools donated by Bosch.
The show in Fredericksburg seemed to have something for everyone and the only complaint I heard (aside from it being a rather loud hall) was that an attendee just didn’t have time to take in all the offerings. I think that the show’s owner would take that as a complement. I see no reason to think that next week’s show in Atlanta will be anything less than great. We will be in Norcross at the North Atlanta Trade Center, 1700 Jeurgens on March 9-11 with what is being billed as a “Turning Extravaganza”. Let your mind wander! As I have said, and maybe even more this coming weekend, do yourself a favor and preregister for the show and go to this link to save $2 off your admission.http://thewoodworkingshows.com/styled-6/index.html.
There are only four shows left this season: Atlanta, Tampa, Charlotte and Houston. Time is running out. Try and get out to a show in your area. And stop in to the WOOD Magazine booth and let me show you a way to make the time you spend in your shop even more pleasant. I love company and I’ll make you feel right at home.
‘Till then, I’ll see you on the road.
WOOD Magazine Traveling Ambassador